I wish I could MAKE people trust in Jesus. I wish I could convince EVERYONE that He is enough. Really and truly, no matter what they have going on in their life…that the God of the Bible is REAL, ALIVE and ALL-POWERFUL! Pardon me while I take a minute to cry.
I met Jesus on a brown couch in 1971 when I was eight years old. While I had no clue what I was getting into that day, He did. Since that time, I have sometimes acted like I didn’t know Him, but He has never acted like He didn’t know me. He has never left me alone in the pits I’ve dug for myself, or even once left me to drown in troubled waters I insisted on diving into. He has protected me, comforted me, held me and loved me no matter what. I. Know. Jesus. Is. Enough.
Beverly (not her real name) came to Bible study this week. She was a newbie and did not look happy. I understood that. She wasn’t in the best of circumstances. She took a seat in the circle but turned to the side-disconnected. We studied about blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10. There are so many good parts of the story! We picked it apart and applied it to our lives.
One the things I love in the true story is that Jesus stopped in His tracks to speak to Bartimaeus while everyone else passed by. We talked about how He still does that! He WANTS to have a relationship with each one of us! He WANTS to help us! He LOVES us!
Bartimaeus threw off his cloak. It was comfortable and had kept him warm for so long, but he threw it off when he went to Jesus. Then, after he was healed, Bart followed Jesus! Woohoo and PTL!
We read Hebrews 12:1-2: “…let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles…” Then we talked about what WE need to throw off in our lives to follow Jesus.
Beverly cried during the lesson. We handed her tissues. She wrote for a long time on a piece of paper.
After the lesson, we listened to Ryan Stevenson’s song “No Matter What.” Parts of the lyrics say, “No matter what you've done, you can't erase His love, Nothing can change it, You're not separated, No matter what.” So often people feel like there is absolutely no way that God could love them but He does-no matter what!
Before we left, someone handed me the paper Beverly had written on. She had listed several difficult things that had happened in her life. It looked like she had hit rock bottom. I went over to see if I could pray with her. (We whispered so no one else could hear.) I told her I was so sorry for all the things she was going through, that Jesus loved her and wanted to help her. She had no church background at all, so this was foreign to her. In a quiet voice she said, “I don’t think Jesus can help me.” My heart raced! What could I tell her? I might never see her again! How could I convince her in her desperate moment that Jesus is real and He WANTED TO HELP?! I prayed quickly for wisdom!
Beverly had lost it all at this point in her life. With tears in my eyes, I said, “Jesus is all you have left. Though He may not seem like it at this moment in your life, He is enough.” Giving her a Bible, I marked several places for her to read. I prayed quietly in her ear that God would speak to her and comfort her.
Even now, my heart aches when I think of her. I’m praying that God will speak to her in her cell as she lays in her bunk. That the Holy Spirit will woo her with God’s Word.
Church people say, “When Jesus is all you have, then you realize Jesus is all you need.” Only when you have been there can you know that it’s true. Jesus is ENOUGH.
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.